ReduceStressNow.net     Smoking

Stopping smoking may be simple,
but does that mean it's easy?

If at first you don't succeed...

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It tasted awful. I turned green, puked up my dinner, and my parents wondered why I was ill. But I was still a teenager, how could I them what I had done?

My parents had warned me not to smoke. If I had told them the truth I would have been grounded for a long time. But all the cool kids smoked, and back then I badly wanted to be cool.

Then one of them asked, "Why listen to your parents?" This seemed like such a good question, my parents knew so little when I was a teenager! So I had my first cigarette. It tasted awful!

My desire to be accepted fueled my determination to smoke. They say that perseverance is paramount, right? So I continued, a glutton for punishment.

Some time later, I had reached my goal and could endure the discomfort, the terrible taste, and the physical illness that inevitably followed. I had become a smoker, I was a cool kid, a success!

I'm an expert - I've stopped smoking a dozen times!

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teenage boy smoking
Later on, I realized that my parents were right. Smoking is indeed bad for your health. So I then decided to stop smoking. And this was even more difficult than starting in the first place.

In fact I've stopped smoking a dozen times, my many dismal failures have made me a real expert. :-) It wasn't that the first few days were unsuccessful, it was that a month or two later, I kept going back to smoking again.

I knew that only one of my thirty cigarettes each day tasted good but, ahhh, that one... My craving for the one that tasted heavenly was why I endured the other twenty-nine, despite the sore throats and damage to my health. You’re right, I didn’t see it quite this clearly at the time.

What did I do to stop?

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How did I try to stop? Let's see...

Willpower was the obvious choice: I just won't smoke. I was successful to start with, yet a few weeks later, I was back on cigarettes. Guess my will-power wasn't as strong as I thought it was.

Cutting down seemed another obvious possibility. I know! I told myself in a moment of monumental clarity: I'll gradually reduce until I'm at zero. This strategy had worked to cut down on the sugar I take in tea and coffee, maybe it would work to stop smoking. What a laugh! This worked for maybe a week, and that's being generous.

Perhaps I'll wait until the right time, which should help me stop for good. And so the next time my throat was so sore that each cigarette actually hurt, I stopped. A few weeks later, when my sore throat was completely better, I had a cigarette to go with a drink. Surprise, surprise, that's all it took, I was hooked again.

Nor did it take me that long to realize that I was not strong-willed enough just to have the odd cigarette when I was at a party. Yes, that strategy was also one that I tried.

How to lose all your friends

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Ah, thought I, the perfect solution: I'll only smoke when someone offers me a cigarette. So I begged and pleaded with my friends - and even people I didn't know - to offer me a cigarette. You can imagine how popular I became!

man smoking with cognac in hand
Still focused just on my strategy, I thought up yet another change that seemed guaranteed to work: I'll only smoke when I have a drink in my hand. But that just got me to the bar both at lunch time and immediately after work. The alcohol didn't do my job performance much good either.

How about: I'll only smoke after six at night? But then I spent most of the day fantasizing about how good that first cigarette would taste, and my work suffered almost as much.

I still hadn't figured out that I was actually addicted, so I kept on changing my behavior, totally ignoring the fact that where I was coming from - my context - was the problem, rather than what I was doing.

After all, isn't blaming someone or something else of the utmost importance? How can we feel all warm and fuzzy inside if we take responsibility for our own problems?

Ignore the obvious

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Jean-Pierre, my French friend, liked strong French cigarettes, and so I learned to smoke Gaulois. The nicotine on my fingers built up and eventually became physically painful. I knew smoking was poisoning my body, but I had become an addict.

So I bought a cigarette holder, which alleviated the external symptoms. And I just ignored the internal ones.

As I write this now, I am amazed at my ability to ignore the obvious. Was there a link between the frequent sore throats that I used to suffer from, and the rapidity with which they cleared up when I stopped? Oh, no, could my smoking have really been the cause of my sore throats. Was my suffering really self inflicted?

But why couldn't I stop?

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Finally the problem became clear. I had been focussing on what to do, not on my context - where I was coming from. And I lacked the personal power to make any of my strategies work.

To increase your personal power you need to improve your understanding of how things work - your context. Choose to put your energy into what you do want!

After numerous failed attempts, I stopped trying to stop smoking. I finally realized that energy really does energize. That putting energy into the negative, into stopping smoking, was still giving energy to smoking. It really is true: What you Resist does Persist!

Do what works, not what doesn’t work!

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Now I know that when what you’re doing is not working, then you’re not doing what works. You can’t be! You need to:

Do what works, not what doesn't work!

It seems so obvious now, but back then? How long did it take me to realize the wisdom of doing what works? Stopping smoking took me at least ten years!

This is how to stop smoking: choose to put your energy into what you do want instead of (not) smoking. So I focussed on vibrant good health for the future, a healthy mind in a healthy body. This ensured that changes to my actions would be effective, and I was then able to stop smoking for good.

Discover how things work

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There are natural laws which explains how things work. And the relationship between simple and easy is, well, simple...

Simple does not mean easy! Nor does simple mean that it’s not easy. Seeing that it's simple tells you nothing about how easy it might be.

Despite the widespread confusion, there's no correlation between simple and easy. Yet this powerful truth is mostly unknown and ignored. Some simple things are easy, and some are very difficult.

But if you want results, you have to follow natural law. This means find out and then do what works. You realize that actions have consequences, they're inevitable. No exceptions! When you do this, your life will change dramatically.

Okay, but ... what do I do to stop smoking?

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How do you stop smoking? It’s simple - very simple! This strategy is permanent, immediately effective, and has never, ever failed. In fact, it's infallible!

Can it really be that simple? Yes! Absolutely! It is extremely simple to stop smoking. Just do this one thing:

Never, never, ever put another cigarette in your mouth!

If you do this, or rather don't do this one thing, then you've stopped smoking. Forever.

What could be simpler? Merely avoid this one action, never do this, and you’ll have stopped smoking for good. As everyone - which includes both you and I - eventually comes to realize:

Your life is in your hands!


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